Sci-fi, lord and sorcery and one last jaw-dropping reveal too. The Green Lantern Season Two #11 delivers outstanding artwork and a great sci-fi caper that spans the sands of time, It’s be missed when it’s gone, that’s for sure.
In The Green Lantern Season Two #11 both writer Grant Morrison and artist Liam Sharp get to revel in the realms of high fantasy, and I do mean revel.
While Morrison provides the fantastical names and appropriate dialogue – with his usual sharp sense of humour here and there – Sharp continues to grow as an artist with painted pages that cannot hide his love for this particular genre. We last saw him mix the world of superheroes, swords and sorcery together in the much maligned The Brave and The Bold, and here he gets to flex those artistic muscles again, with more nods to certain art influences synonymous with this genre of storytelling. Not for the first time to I note that the whole Green Lantern saga he and Morrison have delivered is as much a trip through comic book art as it is a journey through Hal Jordan’s colourful past. I can’t help but be reminded of this early Simon Bisley Sláine strips, such as ‘The Horned God’, from 2000AD. Not that Sharp is apeing his style, but as an artist growing out of that era himself the painting, layout and page design – incorporating Celtic designs – definitely reflect those heady days. The format DC Comics have chose to present this story in – the humble monthly floppy – just doesn’t do it justice. I’m still hoping for some kind of Absolute edition one day.
In contrast, the hardwired world of sci-fi – to which Jordan is more familiar – has a smoother edge to the art, with a stronger sense of digital colouring applied. If the medium is the message, then Sharp is most definitely letting his art techniques talk for themselves. It’s the reason I tend to focus so much on this side of the comic book so much. More so than other reviews I write up here. That’s how important the art is to this many layered book. Each influence he brings to bare, each artistic decision he takes only adds to the meaning a keen-eyed reader will take away from this series. I don’t own too much original art, but one day I would love to own a page from this stunning series that will be long remembered.
Bit enough blowing smoke up Sharpie’s ass. Let’s not forget the mammoth scale of this unfolding saga too. Morrison has not only loving poured into this space opera all of Jordan’s greatest hits, but in this issue we get a story as old as time. And a realisation that Morrison has peppered this second volume, just as he did the first, with cryptic, opaque clues as to where this story was heading. It would seen the Ultrawar were nearly a distraction for something far more destructive. And this is the time Hal Jordan decided to take his annual leave? What now?
As for the cliffhanger? Well, with so many distractions built up by Morrison’s dense, oft-times confusing scripts, there’s still one familiar foe from Jordan’s past that finally turns up like the proverbial bad penny. It’s to Morrison’s credit that he’s manages to misdirect us so much in this second season that I hadn’t even considered this guy would have a part to play in the grand finale. But, in cramming in the best of Green Lantern, how could this character not be included in the end?
Simply stunning, from script to art to… everything. If there is a downside it’s that this mammoth undertaking, it will be that this is a very hard act to follow come March and the relaunch of Green Lantern. One I simply cannot be a part of after this breathtaking take by two true legends of the medium. After all, why have Hamburg when you can have steak, right?
The Green Lantern Season Two #11 is out now from DC Comics